Vegan in Chicago

Vegan in Chicago

I went to Chicago last week for 5 1/2 days to see my parents and go to the vegandale festival that was on Saturday 6/22. Chicago has a decent amount of vegan friendly places and just strictly vegan spots as well. I tried to try a few places but being the only vegan in my family it was kinda hard to go to strictly vegan spots but I did go to 1 while was there.

The one vegan spot I was able to try was No Bones Beach Club. I ordered the nachos with jackfruit on the side (cause my mom didn’t want to try it), the buffalo cauliflower wings, fries with old bay seasoning, the fried avocado tacos, the crab cakes, and the amaze balls. The nachos were and the wings were so good. The cheese sauce on the nachos was bomb. My family wasn’t super open to trying things so my experience wasn’t the greatest but the food was good and the vibe of the restaurant was pretty chill. Also the apps are pretty high up there in price about $13 a piece so the check was around $72.

I did attend the the Vegandale festival which was so cool I’ve never been to a vegan festival before and I met some really interesting people there everyone was so friendly and accommodating. I tried a vegan Big Mac, vegan Chicago style hotdog, sausage and peppers w/ spicy mustard, this rainbow cake (which was so good I’m still daydreaming about it), nachos, cauli wings, veggie tempura, deep dish vegan pizza, and the fried chicken which I waited 3 hours for. Also the kombucha that GTS provided was free and I drank like 4 of them. There was this water refill cart/ truck thing where you could fill up water bottles for free which I had never seen before and it was honestly the best thing vegandale could’ve provided. I saw a lot more ethnic vegans than what is shown on social media and it was just a good time. My family did however go straight to portillos when the festival was over and for everyone that doesn’t know portillos is a meat fest place hotdogs, polishes, Italian beefs. But atleast they came out to the festival and stayed all day 12-7 with me.

Besides the rainbow cake the fried chicken and the sausage w/ peppers were my favorite things I had at the festival I wish I had tried way more food but I tried a decent amount and the festival was packed so lines were pretty long.

The vegan food scene in Chicago is way better than I thought it would be – with Chicago being the meat packing city capital in the US. And the next time I go I’d like to try even more vegan restaurants that Chicago has to offer.

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Go to Salad

Go to Salad

It’s basically summer in Atlanta and it’s hot as hell. So, I’ve been eating really large salads lately for lunch and dinner trying to keep myself feeling light and also just getting more fresh greens into my diet. Every summer I say I’m going to eat more produce and less processed foods.

A trick that I’ve been seeing from vegan youtubers and that I’ve gotten from my friend (who is also vegan) that when eating salads to add something that’s cooked to it (or just something with a little more substance than just lettuce and other veggie or fruit toppings).

I’ve been trying this out doing curry roasted chickpeas on top of salads (will show in another post) and my favorite thing roasted potato’s.

Mix of romaine and red leaf lettuce.

Sliced tomato.

Added roasted potato’s.

Added a lil crispy tofu scramble on top and a creamy avocado dressing.

Go to Smoothie

Go to Smoothie

Being a little healthier right now as I wanna be feeling myself for my birthday in a month. So, I’ve been doing smoothies for breakfast and this one lately has been my favorite.

3 frozen bananas

Handful of blueberries

Chia seeds (a little or a lot depending how I feel)

Almond milk

Water

Blend it all up. And there ya go it’s super creamy and I was getting tired of just having plain banana smoothies. And blueberries are good for loosing weight. While bananas are starchy and keep me full for awhile.

hope you guys will try and enjoy this smoothie!

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

If you’re vegan you’ve heard of had and probably cooked you’re own tofu scramble. I’ve been sort of experimenting with tofu scrambles trying to perfect it myself at home. I know most scrambled have the yellow color to mimic eggs usually using turmeric or curry powder but I don’t always have those spices on hand (and tbh I don’t care about the yellow color as much as the taste). So, here’s the recipe for my go to tofu scramble.

1/2 a block of extra firm tofu

1/2 a cup of baby Bella mushrooms

1 cup of spinach

2 mini tomato’s

I added the tofu to the pan first crumbling it with my hand. Then added the chopped mushrooms. The tomato’s and a splash of almond milk (this was my first time doing this and honestly game changer I’d seen other people on YouTube put milk in their scrambles and was unsure about it but it makes the scramble really creamy and good). I let this cook for a good 5 minutes then seasoned everything with black pepper, pink Himalayan salt, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. I ate the scramble as a burrito wrap with kite hill plain cream cheese and guacamole.

It was the best tofu scramble I’ve ever made. Now if only I could get my toddler to eat it.

Lunch Prep

Lunch Prep

Quick post as I did a little lunch prep today for the next couple days I have to work. Since I’m being healthier, making healthier eating choices and habits I realized I needed to start peeping my meals. Especially for days that I have to work. So, I just prepped some noodles, roasted a pack of frozen stir fry veggies and made brown rice in a crockpot to swap out my grain/pasta with the veggies. And I’m going to make a spicy peanut sauce to go over everything.

Really simple really quick. But if I hadn’t done it I would’ve ended up either going upstairs (I work in a mall) and getting Chick-fil-A or opting not to eat at all.

Healthy Lunch on a Budget

Healthy Lunch on a Budget

I went to Sprouts on Saturday and decided to get something for healthy but budget friendly for lunch so I’m going to share the details.

I love zucchini noodles. I eat a lot of pasta so when I want pasta without the carbs I usually do frozen zucchini noodles or I buy the fresh ones I really should just buy a spiralizer and make my own. Since there was salt already added to these noodles I just added crushed red pepper and basil.

This is the first time I’ve had this pasta sauce and it’s so good. I like spicy food and I needed new pasta sauce because I had bought some regular marinara sauce from Publix a week ago didn’t check the label and there was milk in it. At some point I’d like to also make my own pasta sauces too.

I’ve bought the regular naan sprouts brand plenty of times but wanted to try the garlic and I’m glad I did it was really good it had a earthy flavor to it. I’m really in love with bread and have been trying to cut back on how much I eat but with a low calorie meal like this I knew I needed something to fill me so I wouldn’t be hungry in 30 minutes it’s all about balance.

I had saved my receipt so I could take a photo of it and upload it so y’all could see how affordable this meal was but of course my daughter likes to play with the pouch I keep all my receipts in and when I found it in her play kitchen open the sprouts receipt was nowhere to be found.

Everything I used in this lunch was the Sprouts brand.

Zucchini noodles $2.99

Garlic naan $1.99

Arrabbiata pasta sauce $2.29

Total: $7.27

And the noodles had a nice texture they look mushy but they weren’t they still had some bite and crunch to them. After I finished my bowel I wanted to eat it all over again and that’s how I know when I really like a meal.

What I Ate this Weekend

What I Ate this Weekend

Quick post. I ate out way more than usual this weekend cause it was Sage’s 3rd birthday. So, I’m about to highlight some good vegan food I ate.

First place was Big Chow Grill (Chow baby to me cause I’ve been going there so long and they changed the name a couple years ago)

I ordered veggie eggs rolls for Sage who used to eat them but I guess she’s decided she doesn’t like them anymore and she of course didn’t want them. If you’ve never been to this place you basically get up and walk down an aisle of veggies, proteins, sauces, and spices and get to put whatever you want in a bowel and they stir fry it then bring it to the table. I had put in my bowel brown rice, bamboo shoots, broccoli, tofu, basil, onions, red and green bell peppers, spinach, garlic, green curry sauce, peanuts, sesame seeds, Kung pao sauce, salt n pepper, and some other spices and sauces I can’t remember.

I made a mistake with my bowel cause I thought a blue stick was for vegetarian but it was for soup! And the veggie broth was honestly not it. I could’ve gotten up and just remade a bowel but I was full from a late breakfast and eating a egg roll. The two sauces from the egg rolls were vegan one was like a mildly spicy sweet and sour sauce the other one was a coconut creamed wasabi sauce which was so spicy the first egg roll I had I dunked it in the wasabi sauce and thought I was going to cry from the heat. But the food there is bomb and I usually enjoy it.

Next place is one of my favorites for an everyone can eat here place. None of my family is vegan so usually when we go out to eat I’m the odd one out. I would love to just go to all the vegan places and eat but I can’t cause no one else would eat anything cause they like meat.

Anyways, this was from Yardhouse. I had the buffalo cauliflower for an appetizer it was okay I’ve had better but it was crispy. And then I had the gardien wings with Korean sauce which is my favorite it’s spicy and crunchy but the inside is soft. The sauce def was vegan I didn’t even try it. I love spicy food so I don’t need a cooling sauce but next time maybe I’ll just bring vegan ranch with me. And I got a side of broccoli and just asked them not to cook it in butter.

I also ate other things this weekend just not out at restaurants and forgot to take pictures. On Sunday I had hash browns for breakfast and then for dinner (I didn’t have lunch cause I was at work) I had chickpea “tuna” salad and sautéd garlic kale.

That was my weekend of food I might do posts like this more often when I go out to eat which like I said is kinda rare but it happens at least once a month. So hope you guys enjoyed looking at this food as much as I enjoyed eating it!

Can’t wait to actually go to a vegan restaurant maybe I’ll go to one next month with one of my friends who is also vegan.